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In A Brown Study, 4

May 22, 2016

“When a fickle muse departs,

God has room to restore our hearts.”

So say I. I hope that has happened, and I can go on with this reverie, realizing that some of my burdens have been lifted, and may be blessings in disguise. The others may take more time, but hope, the candle of joy, revives the heart.

We were thinking about false accusations (In a Brown Study #2), and the 13 women who were hanged in 1693-93, accused of witchcraft. Their descendants carried their sense of injustice for many years, into the 21st century when they appealed to the Massachusetts legislature to have their ancestors exonerated from the charge of witchcraft. The august body finally got around to admitting the victims were not witches at all, but wronged by the justice system of the time.

Whew! What a relief that must have been. We want to believe our genes come from “good” people, not hopeless criminals.

Actually, many of the colonial judiciaries showed remorse in their own lifetimes. The only one who did not was John Hathorne, the ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had been prosecutor and judge of Martha Corey. Nathaniel was upset by his stubborn, vindictive ancestor’s actions, and added the W to his name, to be further separated from him.

But Nathaniel could not remove his feeling about Christians who were so dogmatic and severe in their beliefs that they could kill people who saw their religion in a different way, never realizing there are different ways to get to truth.  Unless your crime has hurt another, God alone is judge. Superstition and the fear it arises cause irrational behavior. Nathaniel Hawthorne saw the hypocrisy in some religious dogma, writing the famous short story Young Goodman Brown and the classic novel The Scarlet Letter.

Never forget , “the good men do is oft’ interred with their bones. The evil they do lives long after”, or something like that.

– to be contd.


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